“I asked your father to bring me a nice cane from abroad,” her uncle explained.
“Well, papa,” the girl pursued, “I hope it is a very handsome one, and that you will make him a present of it, for you can never know how good Uncle Phil’ has been to us.”
Both gentlemen laughed, and were glad of the opportunity to give vent in this way to their pent-up emotions.
“All right, Dorrie; and when you see it you shall be the judge whether it is fine enough,” replied the professor, as he turned again to feast his eyes upon the wonderful change in her.
A little later the lunch bell sounded, and the happy quartet went within to break bread together, for the first time in two long months. But one of the number could only make a pretense at eating—his heart was too full to allow him to do much but covertly watch his child, who was vigorously plying knife and fork and manifesting the appreciative appetite of a normally hungry girl.
Of course, there was much to tell and talk over, and the afternoon slipped swiftly away, twilight coming upon them almost before “the half had been told.”
The subject of Christian Science had been mutually avoided, and was not referred to until after dinner, when Mrs. Minturn came in for her usual visit to Dorothy.
Prof. Seabrook had never met her but once, and that was when she had visited Hilton to apply for Katherine’s admission to the school. But he recognized her instantly, and greeted her with the utmost cordiality.
When her interview with Dorothy was over and she rejoined the group in the parlor, he invited her to be seated and placed a chair for her.
“But this is your first evening with your dear ones, and they should have the privilege of monopolizing you,” she objected, with her charming smile.
“Nay, there are some things that must be said, you know, and they, I am sure, are longing to hear them,” he returned, with visible emotion. “First, I have no words adequate to express my gratitude for what you have done for my child.”
“Not what I have done,” the lady interposed, with gentle emphasis.
“I understand—and I have been trying to thank God every moment since my return,” he said, “but you claim to be His messenger, or instrument, and surely we cannot ignore that fact. I left Dorrie pale and wasted to a mere shadow, scarcely able to move or help herself in any way. I find to-day a bright, animated girl, rapidly taking on flesh and strength, sitting upright in her chair— sewing! How the wonder has been accomplished is beyond my comprehension. I had previously vetoed Christian Science treatment; to be frank, I contemptuously repudiated it. I can no longer hold it in derision, neither can I say that my attitude towards it, as a science, or a religion, has changed.”
“That is yet to come,” said Mrs. Minturn, smiling, as he paused.